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In Remembrance of: Benjamin Henry, Eva Burrell, Eric Paul Jackson, Bertha Smith, Leon Guitry, Jackie Hall
By Richard Henry on June 16, 2010

Eric Bolvin is an award-winning California Composer/Arranger with a schedule that includes playing, writing, teaching, and producing music. As a session player and arranger, Eric has recorded over 50 CDs for A&M Records and Mesa/Blue Moon Records. He has played or recorded with Russell Ferrante, Jeff Lorber, Dennis Chambers and Greg Adams; as a composer and arranger, his works have been performed by Jerry Bergonzi, Ernie Watts, Grant Geissman and many others. His songs and cues are currently carried by some of the industry’s top libraries.

Eric Bolvin has released four solo CDs on his EBjazz Records label.

The list of iconic musicians Eric has performed with also include Richie Cole, Dave Weckl, Carl Saunders, Steve Smith, Bobby Shew, Dave Liebman, Dee Daniels, Wayne Bergeron, Tom Scott, Norton Buffalo, Brian Bromberg and many others

Eric owns his own publishing company, Faded Duck Music, which currently publishes his books and compositions. Eric is the author of The Really Big Student Songbook, The Arban Manual, The Modern Jazz Trumpet Method and Tongue Level & Air-26 Lessons to Efficient Trumpet Playing.

Eric maintains a website which features free instructional videos, demos and music for all musicians.

Contact Eric Bolvin at:


CD Review of No Boundaries

 Eric Bolvin has created a style that may be familiar and distinct to many. Amazing audiences on the trumpet, he has released such albums as Quorum, The Night, Rain and You, The Lost Recordings and Workin’ It. As an independent artist, he has played with the big names in jazz and has educated many through his books and instructional videos. Eric has been charted on Smooth Radio and has played on 85 stations worldwide. His newest album release No Boundaries creates a colorful musical atmosphere with its fourteen tracks. The musician lineup on this album include John R. Burr on piano, drummer Billy Johnson, guitarist Mike Renwick, Timo Gutierrez on percussion, Margo Leduc providing the vocals and Eric Bolvin on trumpet, keyboards, flugelhorn, evl who also provides the programming for this album.

Beginning with a mysterious introduction, the first track El Gato Loco lets you know from the start what you are in for. Eric Bolvin's sound creeps in softy amidst the mysterious opening and then the constant rhythm kicks in. You can hear ambient sounds in the background that continues the haunting flavor heard at the beginning. The trumpet sounds interject in a musical response fashion. Hearing the different sounds is almost unexpected because one might be fooled into thinking that this is just another standard song without much to it. The sounds blend together that you can hear the upbeat rhythm that gives this tune its bounce. Eric's tones sound very clear with just the right intonation fitting for this type of song.

Z-Mode shows you the ability of Eric Bolvin to mix sounds creatively in the album's fourth track. Sharp, punctuated strings continue to be heard throughout this tune. There are spaces in which Eric is not playing that the other created sounds are heard. This song has a nice wacky quality to it and it all fits together nicely. A little blues can be heard on the horn. One will be able to hear that the  mood does change that transitions into another section. The drums are heard in an r&b fashion at intervals. I feel that the harmony and overall feel borrows elements from today's popular music but in a way that accommodates the jazz element. Eric does a great job of adding all of the sounds in such a way that works.
 The sixth track begins with a dance beat in which trance type sounds are heard in Knuckle Knows. This tune puts you in another realm with its soothing background sounds. In this song, I feel that there is a fashion, high end mood as if one has arrived at a high class establishment seeing delight but with a dance groove. Eric Bolvin definitely has great knowledge of electronic music to pull this off. The rhythm really sets the tone and gives this tune the platform it needs to produce the effect that it projects. The bass really gets going with its quick pace. Sustained music is heard in the middle of this piece that provides a type of fantasy vision. The different sounds introduce themselves at unexpected times but it is effective.

 A catchy melody at the beginning gets you in the groove in the ninth track Stand Up!! Mike Renwick is heard on guitar with his music that has a cool style. The trumpets punch their tones is rhythmic fashion. I can hear music is this tune that sounds inspired by New Orleans jazz with some of the collective musical sounds that are played at the same time. Notes are sustained to indicate the ends of phrases. Towards the end, the rhythm becomes more syncopated. You can also hear and feel a similarity to music from the tropical islands. There is imitation of melody. The trumpet sounds with an echo effect. This song has an ethnic, international quality about it. It almost seems as if it could be a dance, national anthem of another country.

 The twelfth track Waterways begins with a very soothing, magical quality. A pleasant sensation of inner happiness is experience is this tune that is quite refreshing. You can hear the bass at the introduction that fits the mood of this piece. This song is very peaceful and relaxing as if you are at a palace full of light and sparkling water. John Burr plays the piano with clarity, never doing too much as to disturb the balance of this tune. His piano soloing is moving with blues notes that is very balanced. You have a full sound with Billy Johnson on drums and Nelson Braxton on bass. The intensity seems to pick up a little more towards the end. Once again the different sounds that are created form a portrait of musical flavor that gives the ear much to listen to.

 After listening to No Boundaries, I felt as though I had went into another realm of sound. A composition always reflects the mind and soul of the musician who created it and I sense that Eric Bolvin gives us a look into the possibilities of electronic music and its uses with real instruments. Technology has given us even more ways to bend and shape music to our desires. Eric shows us the possibilities of this and it gives the listener a blend of sound that is manipulated through creative processes to give us a different spin on jazz which I know is a good direction to go. Young listeners will definitely enjoy aspects of this album and jazz veterans will also hear a well crafted sound. The possibilities are endless when it comes to music and No Boundaries prove this. Musicians everywhere should experiment with electronic music in some form to experience the options it allows as far as creating music. This album should definitely be bought and listened to.

No Boundaries
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